I recently got the chance to talk to Jon Lee Brody about his role in JJ Abram’s newest ‘Star Trek’ movie, ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’. Here, Jon talks about how he got involved in the project and what it was like working with the cast and crew on-set…
My pleasure! Thank you for having me!
What’s the general plotline surrounding this instalment?
Basically there’s an unstoppable force of terror that leaves the world in a state of crisis. And it is up to Kirk and his crew to save Earth.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
I play an Enterprise Security Officer. Yes, I’m a red shirt. So we all know what that could mean.. (laughs).
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
Well at first, I had no idea it was for ‘Star Trek’. Everyone was very hush hush. I went to casting for an ‘Untitled Sci Fi Movie’. I did my thing and they took my photo. I didn’t hear anything for about a couple of months so I figured I didn’t get it. But then I got an e-mail that the director cast me based off of my photos. I still had no idea what movie I had booked. It wasn’t until I went to my wardrobe fitting and saw my Starfleet tunic waiting for me that I realized that I was working on ‘Star Trek’!
How would you say this film is different and unique to the previous instalment? Did you know much about the ‘Star Trek’ franchise before signing on?
I honestly wasn’t really a ‘Star Trek’ fan before. I appreciated the show for what it was but I wouldn’t have ever considered myself a Trekkie. But after working on the film, and learning more about the ‘Star Trek’ universe, I definitely got into it. I’m not sure I’m a Trekkie, because I feel that ‘s a title that needs to be earned but I’m getting there! As far as how this movie is different from the first, all I can say is that the stakes are much higher and that audiences are in for a treat!
The film stars Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch, (playing….John Harrison, ahem), Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Zoe Saldana, Anton Yelchin, John Cho and Alice Eve – with JJ Abrams onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set? Any good anecdotes?
They were amazing. These are people who are light years ahead of me in terms of acting and film-making. I took it as a learning opportunity. I would just observe the process and really soak it in. The set was always fun. What I loved is that one minute we could be joking around and the next we could all snap back into it. Benedict is absolutely brilliant. I got to know him probably the best out of everyone. Just a very humble guy and very hard-working. I learned a lot from him and I’m grateful for the experience.
Let’s talk a bit about you Jon. What made you want to get into the acting industry in the first place?
It’s kind of a long story. But basically I was going through a point in my life where I realized that life is short and I need to pursue my dreams. So I gave acting a shot back in 2008. And now here we are!
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in the industry?
Make sure you are truly passionate about acting/film-making. If you’re getting into it to try to get rich or famous, then find something else to do. You can’t get into this industry just for the vanity. You may be lucky enough to pretty far but eventually your career will fizzle out if you don’t have that true passion. Michael Jordan was the best player to ever play basketball. But at the root of it all, he really just loved the game. It’s that intangible desire that can make all the difference.
You’ve been in a number of different films and TV projects – which actors/actresses have been your favourites to work with and why? Any good stories?
There’s so many. I mean everyone on ‘Star Trek’ was great. I did another movie called ‘Pawn’ and I got to work with Forest Whitaker, Michael Chiklis and Sean Faris. They were amazing and I learned a lot. I also directed this lil thing called ‘Police Guys’ and I absolutely loved everyone there. One of my co-stars was Stephen Kramer Glickman – (‘Big Time Rush’) and we had a blast. Stephen is one of my closest friends and he’s so friggen talented. I also got to work briefly with Christine Lakin and that was a trip for me! I grew up watching the TGIF Lineup on ABC and ‘Step By Step’ was one of my favourite shows. I was (and still am) a HUGE fan of Christine, so working with her was surreal! There are many others. I’ve been lucky to have worked with many great and talented actors. And look forward to working with many more!
What’s currently on your I-Pod right now?
I’m all over the place, man. I could go from listening to 80s music to the Rocky Soundtrack to 90s rap. It’s all about variety and mood!
If you could have dinner with three guests – (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
Well usually this is a chance to name a celebrity whom I would want to have a sit down with. But I’m gonna go against the grain and say I’d like to have dinner with my deceased grandparents. My grandfather on both sides passed away before I was born and my grandmother on my father’s side passed away when I was very young. I would love to have a chance to have dinner with them and get to know them.
Which film was your favourite of 2012 and why?
I’d have to say ‘Argo’. Everything about it was on point.
What’s coming up for you in 2013? You’ve got a fair few projects coming out…
Indeed I do. I’ve got a couple of irons in the fire. Some projects in development. I’m developing an action movie with UFC Fighter/actor Cung Le that I think everyone will really like. I will be directing my first full length feature film soon. I’m also directing a music video for Michelle Raitzin – (from this current season of ‘The Voice’). I’m very excited about it because it’s her first video and she’s mega talented. And I’m in consideration for some acting roles.
Thanks for the interview!